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How sick is the new Soulfly song “Rise of the Fallen” from the upcoming album Omen? It’s just balls out brutal! Brazilian metal deity Max Cavalera has dropped another huge atomic hit on the scene.
The programming is insane, the groove is comprised of an unbridled intensity, and the tribal percussion is in full Roots-like form, devastating. Nothing beats the release of ferocity following the trippy sitar break during the mid section; a classic Soulfly trademark.
Greg Puciato (Dillingen Escape Plan) rules the lead mic during the verses, representing one of the few elite voices that even has the right to belt it out alongside Cavalera.
Cannot wait for the release of Omen on May 25th. With tracks like this, it is gearing up to be the most important day of the spring.
Soulfly is Max Cavalera (Vox/Guitar), Mark Rizzo (Guitar), Bobby Burns (Bass), & Joe Nunez (Drums).
1. Slayer – World Painted Blood: “You would think that even a pioneering thrash metal band would evolve and head in a different direction at some point during a career that spans nearly 30 years. Not Slayer. On World Painted Blood, Slayer is just as devastating, fast, and angry as they were in 1986…delivers thrash perfection offering musical aggression at its finest…World Painted Blood is flawless and immaculate, a 5-star performance, and the album of the year” (Full Review).
2. Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue: “DuVall’s vocal performance proves to be an adequate replacement for Staley, exceeding expectations of quality, capability, and image. He is no Brian Johnson to Bon Scott, but he does make the group better for what they are today. As for the rest of the band, Jerry Cantrell reclaims his throne as a guitar god and great vocalist, Mike Inez rocks the bass as if he is still in his 20’s, and Sean Kinney is the premier drummer he has always been. The survey says: Black Gives Way To Blue was worth waiting for. In other words, this record makes Chinese Democracy eat sh*t” (Full Review).
3. Megadeth – Endgame: “Dave Mustaine and company are back with an even thrashier and, once again, unapologetic lyrical effort on Endgame. The guitars of Mustaine and Chris Broderick prove to be the best work since Rust in Peace and arguably the most compatible in Megadeth’s history. Tracks such as “How The Story Ends” and “Head Crusher” unleash the classic headbanging euphoria that cannot be mistaken for any other group…another fine moment in thrash metal history” (Full Review).
4. Kiss – Sonic Boom: “Raise up your horns kiddies and let the ol’ Knights in Satan’s Service take you on a nice and rockin’ ride! Sonic Boom reinvents Kiss and brings a whole new respect for the band. They follow the formula that best suits them: Keep it Simple, stupid! Tracks like “Never Enough” and “Stand” make me forget that its 2009 and feel like im listening to the vintage Kiss records of the 70’s…Sonic Boom is the best stuff the originators of the rock n roll circus have to offer in merely two decades” (Full Review).
5. Mastodon – Crack The Skye: Whether you love or hate Mastodon, you cannot deny the success and attention that Crack The Skye has garnered for the band and the heavy metal genre this year. Since tearing up the main stage at last year’s Mayhem Festival, the band has grown stronger and more powerful than anybody ever expected of them. The release of Crack The Skye offers satellite radio gems “Divinations,” “Oblivion,” and the title track. If you appreciate metal, you can appreciate this album.
6. Pearl Jam – Backspacer: “Once again Pearl Jam takes the unpolished rock and roll approach, a page directly from the holy book of The Ramones. For most of the record, Eddie Vedder shows he has no shame in allowing his voice to rip and roar in a slew of continuous streams while leading us all to the chapel of rock…While this is not the greatest record in the band’s repertoire nor does it offer a stunning new direction, it is always refreshing to hear rock music that is done right” (Full Review).
7. Dream Theater – Black Clouds and Silver Linings: “What better way to begin a record with the words “Black Clouds” in the title than to include a disturbingly haunting intro on the first number — think stormy earth like the opening to “Black Sabbath” and combine that with the spooky keyboards of Jordan Rudess that would make the Cryptkeeper grin. After the opening horror show, John Petrucci shifts gears with a heavy riff for James LaBrie’s vocal entrance. Mike Portnoy’s double bass drum playing during the first movement is as fast and devastating as ever…The lyrical melody combined with the progressive groove is purely exhilarating” (Full Review).
8. The Last Vegas – Whatever Gets You Off: “If you are down with the classic hard rock sound of Airbourne and The Answer, then you will adore the trash glam band, The Last Vegas from Chicago. Whatever Gets You Off features plenty of obnoxious headbanging cuts and power ballad blitzes that will blast you back to the Sunset Strip circa 1982. There are plenty of catchy hooks on this record that will stick to your thick-ass skull for weeks…The Last Vegas brings an updated and fresh vibe to the 80’s glam culture” (Full Review).
9. Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot: “The supergroup concoction of legendary hard rock frontman Sammy Hagar, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith offers an eleven trackself-titled debut that confirms some recent speculation: “Satch” is the best guitarist to ever play alongside Hagar… For best results, find an open highway just before dusk, preferably along a coastal landscape, hit the pedal, crank it up, and cruise the lonely gray pavement into the pitch-dark sky” (Full Review).
10. Queensrÿche – American Sodier: “Queensrÿche is back with the conceptual release American Soldier, which fuses some modern rock elements with their progressive hard rock edge…the highlights of the record consist of the dramatic ballad “Home Again,” featuring the vocal talent of Geoff Tate (that would make him suitable for a Broadway lead), and the heavy groove prominent on the power hungry “Man Down.” Queensrÿche did not create the greatest concept album of all-time but one worth giving a shot” (Full Review).
Runners-Up: Heaven & Hell The Devil Knows Your Name, W.A.S.P. Babylon, Ace Frehley Anomaly, The Answer Everyday Demons, Otep Smash The Control Machine
Editor’s Note: The Top 10 Albums of 2009 list was compiled and based on the official Gears of Rock reader’s poll.
Remember that crazy feeling you used to get inside when you heard the opening power chords to Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” or the theme music for the Ultimate Warrior as you watched him hurl towards the ring at full speed? Well, the WWE recently released its ninth volume of entrance music for some of today’s most popular (inferior when compared to the Hulkster’s era) professional wrestlers.
Tunes such as “Voices (Randy Orton)” and “Pain (Vladimir Kozlov)” feature modern rock elements like industrial drum kits, guitars, and synthesizers, while other tracks exhibit a Kid Rock or even a hip-hop feel.
The “Land of Five Rivers (Great Khali)” contains a great tribal vibe while fully utilizing the appropriate percussive elements as does “Tribal Trouble (Umaga).”
The vocalist of “Get On Your Knees (Jack Swagger)” is an unapologetic Zack de la Rocha [Rage Against The Machine] wannabe while the guitars do the same for Tom Morello.
Long time WWE composer, James A. Johnson penned all of the songs on the album and has written a large chunk of the organization’s material since 1985.
Unless you are a WWE superfan to the end, you should pass on this volume. If you are hungry for a WWE record, check out the Junk Yard Dog and the Nikolai Volkoff classics on The Wrestling Album or better yet, all the greats on WWE Anthology. C
Hand to Hand is listed by their record label as a hardcore emo rock group, which in fairness to all involved is a good description, fitting the bill for this collective from Orlando, FL. This versatile unit amps up My Chemical Romance-like melodic rock to Trivium-like levels of intense new school metal while taking post-hardcore turns along the style of Underoath and From First to Last. Confused? Luckily this band’s scattershot delivery isn’t, as they’ve dissected the meat and potatoes part of each of the aforementioned genres and have permutated them into the five-track EP titled BREAKING THE SURFACE. If you hate screamo and loathe anything with singing even to be considered hardcore, run away now. But if you can deal with some ambiance before blistering leads and don’t mind shards of jagged tenderness creeping in and out of tracks like the Dredg-esque “Dufresne, Party of Six,” then this outfit will pique your interest and keep you rocking through its genre-bending rollercoaster ride. www.lifeforceamerica.com –Mike SOS